by David Jones
Recording: New England Conservatory Symphonic Winds
Conductor: William Drury
Publisher: MARK Masters 55759 – MCD
There are very few wind orchestras that can approach the professional quality repertoire on Joyride! William Drury and the New England Conservatory Symphonic Winds are definitely capable of giving the most challenging compositions their due. Joy Ride is one of four works by Steven Burke featured on this recording. The other works are Knots, Devil’s Tail and Clockwise which is dedicated to the memory of American compose Jacob Druckman. The prolific modern Russian composer Elena Firsova is represented by her Capacity for Wind Orchestra Op.85. Cantina by David Rakowski won the 2006 Barlow Prize for wind ensemble commissions; bass clarinet and marimba are highlighted in the fourth movement. Joyride! closes with Sketches from Middle Earth by David Jones. The composer presents an entirely different insight to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings than the more familiar Johan de Meij symphonies. High marks all around for this most impressive recording.